Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Erectile dysfunction- it's really affecting my self esteem. Anyone else?

(14 Posts)
Gertrudeisgerman Fri 07-Apr-17 14:41:52

My DP, over the past few months, has had significant ED.

It started off just being once a week but it's progressing to pretty much every time we have sex. He is hard to start with but once we really start getting into it, he can't maintain an erection.

I've tried to be understanding and not make an issue of it but it's really starting to affect my self esteem. I'm generally quite hard (excuse the pun!) on myself anyway. I just can't seem to separate it from his attraction to me. He says he's had this problem since taking AD's 4/5 years ago, with other partners. He swears he's more attracted to me than he has ever been.

He says last night that he gets this problem masturbating & experimented with accessing porn to see if it was a stimulation issue. Same problem.

He smokes so the rational part of me thinks it could be physiological, but the voice in my head says it's me. Anyone had any experience?

Last night I just blurted out to him that I want us to stop having sex for a while because I feel so shit about myself. He was really upset. I'm really upset. What the fuck can we do?

RatherBeRiding Fri 07-Apr-17 14:46:40

It won't be you.

A visit to his GP sounds in order to check out his physical health.

Might also be an idea, on his part, to quit the masturbating and porn and try to just forget about sex for a while. The more it's an issue for him the more likely it is to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

He's probably really hurt that you've taken it so personally (though I agree it's hard not to). Try to talk to him about - calmly and non-judgmentally. If you keep the intimacy in other ways but take the pressure of having penetrative sex (and get to see GP in the meantime) it could well be helpful.

HarmlessChap Fri 07-Apr-17 15:09:29

I suffer with ED which I'm struggling to come to terms with as I find the whole thing very emasculating, it will probably be something which bothers him a lot and be absolutely nothing to do with you.

Telling him you want to stop having sex with him, whatever you said the reason, he will probably think its because he is no longer virile and add in more anxiety. Remember that ED is just a more PC way of saying impotence and everyone knows the negative connotations for that word.

When I stopped smoking years ago, way before I started experiencing ED, I was amazed at the positive effect it had on the strength of erections so if he could be encouraged to give up that may well help, otherwise he needs to speak to his GP and get a prescription for Sildenafil Citrate (the generic name of Viagra) and try that.

Sildenafil does not give you an erection on its own, you need sufficient mental or physical stimulation; I like to think that it restores a "normal" sexual function for a period of time. I.e.he's got to be wanting to have sex with you if its to work.

Good luck.

Gertrudeisgerman Fri 07-Apr-17 15:26:23

Thank you both. I knew as soon as I said I wanted to lay off sex for a while, that I had said the wrong thing. It just sends me into a horrible place when it happens as I've been sexually abused as a child and had an eating disorder, so him not being able to maintain an erection triggers shame for me. And when I'm shamed I run away from the issue.

He was gutted sad that he makes me feel this way. I'm not sure he will go to the GP. He buries his head in the sand about huge things in his life, I'm not sure he's got the guts to face this. I feel like a terrible person for reacting like this, I have kept a lid on it for months but last night I reacted emotionally. I think I just reached my tipping point. What can I say to fix this?

RatherBeRiding Fri 07-Apr-17 15:40:52

If he's still taking ADs, and smokes, (does he drink?) it is quite possibly a physical problem, which isn't going to fix itself.

Can you tell him what you've said here?

He really needs to see his GP. He might find it horribly embarrassing but you can be sure he will be the 10th person with the same complaint his GP has seen that week! But how on earth you persuade someone to seek medical help when they are so resistant is beyond me, and I'm afraid I have little patience with people who simply will not help themselves.

A frank talk might be the starting point. This is affecting both of you, and your relationship, and it's just not fair of him to bury his head.

Of course is can be a horribly emasculating experience for a lot of men, and it can be difficult to broach the subject without him feeling as though you're "blaming" him, but this really won't resolve itself!

noego Fri 07-Apr-17 16:09:14

If he gets hard then loses it then it is a psychological problem. There is some kind of mental block. Probably worrying about his performance is making it worse and criticising will make it worse.

Men can orgasm with a semi erect and soft penis as well as a hard one.

I understand how you might take this personally but it will have nothing to do with you.
What is needed is therapy and maybe going tantric. The pressure needs to taken off in a subtle way and over a period of time so confidence can be re-gained. A loving partner will help get over this.
As other PP have said it wouldn't do any harm to have a full physical check up as well.

DrMorbius Fri 07-Apr-17 16:15:11

Mental or physical, it's a so specialist issue. By that i mean see a doctor, it's not just something you try and resolve yourself. It could be one of many things. For example what's his blood pressure like?

Gertrudeisgerman Fri 07-Apr-17 16:48:00

No idea re his BP. He is a runner and does a physical job but as I said he does smoke (quite a lot) and although he doesn't drink much (1-2 beers) he drinks every day. Which is odd for me as I don't smoke and my job means I get up really early & do clinical work so only drink at weekends (where I drink more than him).

He is prone to depression and self doubt so think it is psychological. He's not in the AD now.

I will definitely try to persuade him to see his GP. We don't live together so we don't see each other every night, so abstaining from stuff is quite easy to do. Please don't think I've been criticising his performance, I voiced the way it made me feel not that I was annoyed with him etc. I know I shouldn't take it personally. But after a few months of it & nothing changing its difficult.

Gertrudeisgerman Fri 07-Apr-17 16:50:28

I absolutely want to support him with this and help him resolve it. I really love this man and apart from the PIV sex, other stuff we do is absolutely amazing. I just want him to be as satisfied as I am sad

Huskylover1 Fri 07-Apr-17 16:52:55

Try Viagra. Available on-line without prescription.

rizlett Fri 07-Apr-17 17:00:13

Instead of no sex maybe try just enjoying touching and other things.

Is penetration and/or orgasm the whole point of sex? (maybe I'm doing it wrong!!)

Perhaps the journey of playing together might be just as fun and less pressured....

NastyWoman16 Fri 07-Apr-17 18:08:46

I went through something very similar. I also voiced that it was affecting my self esteem, and it did upset him a lot. I maybe went a bit too far and said that I couldn't be trapped in a sexless marriage - he just hadn't done anything to address it. He'd buried his head in the sand for years and I think he hoped I would too. After months of being patient I kind of exploded.

But it was the kick up the bum he needed. He went to the GP and got checked out - it was nothing physical (he also god hard but lost it halfway, so likely psychological). He got a prescription online from Superdrug for Sildenafil. He absolutely loved the effect and it gave him more confidence, so now we rarely need it.

I had tried getting him to go to the GP before the 'explosion', telling and demonstrating to him that I have to go for gynae stuff regularly, etc.

The way he rationalised it to himself in the end is that going to the doctor is braver (i.e. Manlier 🙄) than not going, so be a man and go.

Gertrudeisgerman Fri 07-Apr-17 19:00:35

No, the point of sex isn't penetration/orgasm BUT DP is the one who persues it but then loses it when he does it confused

During foreplay he's fine. During oral he's fine (doesn't orgasm with either) then we go to penetration and it all goes wrong! I'd rather just stop before that because (especially recently) as soon as we start having sex I'm thinking is this going to go wrong? Is it me (I've had 3 DC's blush maybe it's too big down there)? Is he okay? Is he worrying?

I'll definitely sensitively broach the idea of GP/pills. I really feel for DP because I know he's struggling with this. Nasty did you manage to come to the realisation it wasn't about you? I feel guilty for even thinking about myself, it seems a bit narcissistic to be thinking how it's affecting me and voicing it was disastrous. I think I exploded too. It's the length of time and the head in the sand and feeling useless.

TheNaze73 Fri 07-Apr-17 19:27:13

Don't blame yourself OP. Can see why logically, you'd think that but, it's really not you.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: